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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Apple's big week

Major announcements show they're still innovating

Posted: 06/16/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

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It was an exciting week for Apple fans, thanks to some big announcements the company made at the Worldwide Developers Conference.

To start things off, it announced iOS7, the new mobile operating system. Apple also announced the new Mac Pro, which was long overdue for a refresh. The new Mac Pro looks like a spaceship trash can -- but in a cool way. It also announced the new MacBook Air, the new OSX, dubbed Mavericks, and as well as some accessory items.

Apple did a pretty decent job at WWDC this year, in my opinion. A new iPhone was not announced, but techies weren't expecting one anyway.

The Mac Pro is Apple's powerhouse computer. Because of its speed, it's what most designers, videographers and photographers use. The Mac Pro has received an update every couple of years but it would only be a hardware update; the actual design had not been changed for years.

Apple dramatically changed the design this year. It now comes locked and loaded with dual AMD GPUs, and supports Thunderbolt2 and 4K displays (tech talk). It's way shorter and much thinner than the previous Mac Pro. The only downside is it is not for sale yet; we are expecting it to be released much later in 2013.

The new MacBook Air has Intel's Haswell processor. With the new line of MacBook Airs, Apple promised better battery life, and the graphics will be dramatically improved as well, due to the new Haswell chip. The new Macbook Airs are going to start at $999. Super-cool!

Apple didn't change a lot in its new OS, Mavericks, but it did announce a new Safari, iOS notification, multiple display and Apple TV integration. Nothing crazy, but it looks like it will be a decent update.

Now let's get onto the real deal, iOS7. Jonathan Ives is the senior vice-president of industrial design at Apple and I think he is an absolute genius. The man who designed iOS6, Scott Forstall, resigned in 2012, and Apple decided to let Ives be a part of the design/creation process of iOS7. When people heard Ives was designing iOS7, it generated a lot of excitement.

It won't be released until the fall, but I got an advance peek and, to be honest, at first glance I was not a fan. But after playing around with it on an iPhone, I must say it is quite snazzy! Apple decided to flatten the whole design of the operating system. Every little detail is flat; no curves or bubbles -- flat.

The colour palette for the OS has also became much brighter. Using it almost gives you a happy feeling from viewing all of the bright colours. All the gradients in their design schemes have been stripped. Apple is also using a lot of blur throughout the operating system; it seems to be the latest design fad. Fonts have been slimmed down and everything with new operating system seems to be a lot leaner than iOS 6. Folders used to be only able to hold 12 apps. Now they can hold 16 apps... the little things.

With iOS6, multi-tasking used to involve double-tapping and viewing the icons at the bottom of the screen. In iOS7, you now double-tap and small images of the app screen appear. Apple kind of ripped off webOS and Windows Phone with this.

Siri has also shows a huge improvement.

And now, for my favourite feature -- auto-updating apps. You know how you view the App Store icon on your phone and it has the little red box showing 200-plus apps need updating? Yeah, me too! I hate updating my apps. I always procrastinate and never end up doing it.

With iOS7, when new versions of apps come out, the App Store automatically updates your apps to the latest version! How awesome is that?

Other features included in iOS7 are Apple's music-streaming app, airdrop, insta-cropping, auto photo organization, and a much cleaner notification centre. Overall, I'm quite happy with iOS7. I've used it on my business partner's iPhone and it's still a little buggy but I'm excited to see how it operates when it's fully functional.

Apple did a really good job with iOS7 and showed everyone it was still innovative by totally redesigning the Mac Pro.

I'm curious, do you like iOS 7? I've heard a lot of people say they hate it and it's a total Android copycat. Tweet at me: @thedavidbell.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 16, 2013 A15

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